Here is our third and final post of our three-part series on branding! Thanks for joining us as we dove deeper into our philosophy on branding and how we help clients build EPIC brands.
Written by: Megan McClure & Tyler Price
Graphic by: Rachel Donovan
Here we are at the end of 2017 and having a relevant brand is harder than ever. With a ton of competition in most industries and the rise of social media and other creative marketing tactics, it can get a little confusing out there. Go with a super trendy look and you may risk looking out of place in your industry or winding up with a brand that will need to be changed in two years. Keeping it too old school and you may not be viewed as forward thinking or with the times. It’s a hard balance to strike! When taking a look at your brand for the upcoming year, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind.
Tip 1: Take a Look Around
There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at both your competitors and companies you admire to see what’s working for them. Do they do a slight refresh every few years to make sure they look the part? Do they constantly release consistent and understandable messaging to their audiences? What is it you like about how they are doing this vs. what your company may or may not be doing? Start with these questions and really get a feel for where your company is and what kinds of things you’d like to see in the future. It might be helpful to keep a look book or inspiration board around. A dedicated place where you can take note of design elements, colors, or vibes that inspire your brand identity. When the time comes to send a new mailer or perform a brand overhaul, you’ll be happy you kept track of the things that work and you like. Have you ever tried describing what haircut you want without some reference? Exactly.
Tip 2: Don’t Fear Bad Ideas
When it comes to brainstorming new ideas, nothing is (or should be) off the table. Have you recently done an in-depth Q&A with your marketing and sales teams on things they see are or are not working? It’s important to occasionally get the necessary voices in the room to earnestly and honestly discuss potential needs and viewpoints when it comes to your brand image. And don’t worry if the ideas aren’t all amazing – that’s what the brainstorming process is for! Encourage your team to come with ideas and thoughts on how to make your brand stronger. If you have something that you feel could work really well for your brand and keep things fresh and moving forward, then try it out!
Tip 3: Talk to Your Customers & Brand Champions
There’s a common assumption that asking for input is like admitting defeat. However, your customers are one of, if not the, most honest and reliable sources to look to for feedback. Customers are constantly being drawn into other competing brands and are constantly faced with different looks in the market place. Talk to them about what kinds of attributes are special and unique to your company. It could be as simple as returning an email or phone call in a timely manner. Your customers chose you – and keep returning to you – for a reason. Find out what those reasons are and capitalize on them!
Tip 4. Hold onto Who You Are
There are parts of your company and brand identity that are undeniably you. It’s important for you to always return to these things and remind yourself what those things are. They are the cornerstones of your identity and anything else can be built around them. It’s important to remain true to your core values and vision, but not be afraid to modernize your brand and keep evolving.
If you’re not sure where to begin or think it’s a good time to start these conversations, we’d love to chat!